An Announcement about Thomas Carr 1873
Since summer 2019, it’s fair to say that we’ve experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
We took a huge risk during the pandemic by moving to a new premises meaning we had to leave behind our Michelin star for the Thomas Carr @ The Olive Room, but with a lot of hard work, and an amazing team we made a success of it despite the ongoing struggle of repeated lockdowns and a never-ending pandemic.
We were absolutely delighted to gain a new Michelin star for 1873 in January 2021 but it was a bittersweet moment as we knew that at the same time our wonderful head chef Chris was battling cancer.
Only a few weeks later he sadly passed away and it left a huge hole in our hearts and we still miss him every single day.
But with Chris’s protégé Callum stepping up to lead the kitchen with Thomas a huge amount of work was put in to reopening the restaurant post-lockdown in May 2021 and we saw a sold out year with a three month waiting list.
Since then, despite the ease on restrictions, the hospitality industry has faced some huge struggles.
Staffing has been one of those struggle that we have really felt and in recent weeks we’ve even had to close some evenings as we found ourselves with no front of house team. Because if this, we know that our communication has been lacking in recent months and we truly apologise for any upset or annoyance that this has caused.
It will also be no surprise to anyone that the cost of running a restaurant has sky rocketed.
The price of utilities are through the roof and the cost of produce is rising on a weekly basis, and whilst we could increase our menu price again, we know that firstly, we would become unaffordable for a large number of our guests and secondly, to truly reflect the cost increase we’d need to at least double the price of our menu and with everyone facing the same financial challenges it’s not a realistic option.
Having looked at all options and possibilities we have sadly come to the conclusion that at the end of October Thomas Carr 1873 will have to close.
We know there will be questions around this so we will try to address these for you.
The main one, we are sure, will be from those of you who have bookings from November onwards.
We really hope that we can work with you to find a table before we close. If we are unable to then we will of course issue a refund for your deposit.
For those who have vouchers to use, we would firstly encourage you – where possible – to join us before the doors close. We are also going to open for the first two weeks in November solely for those of you who have vouchers to use. You can do this by booking via our website www.thomascarrdining.com.
If you are unable to make it to us before then, then please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will arrange a refund for you.
We need to note at this point that as we are so short staffed it may take several days for someone to reply to your email, so please bear with us whilst we try and reply to everyone.
We’re also sure that some of you will have seen that the building itself is up for sale.
We fully support Paul and Sarah in their decision in doing this and would like to thank them for being great landlords and also for giving us the opportunity in 2019 to take on their beautiful building at a time when we thought our business was about to end.
On the subject of thank yous, we’d really like to say that we really appreciate all of the love and support that we have received from guests, suppliers and the local community over the years. It’s been a real privilege for us to help put Ilfracombe on the foodie map along with some of the other amazing venues we have in the area.
The biggest thank you has to go to the team that we have had since setting 1873 up. We have been so lucky to have had such passionate, talented, hardworking staff with us on this journey and we wouldn’t have made it this far without them.
We don’t know what will come next, other than having a chance to reflect and take some much needed family time but maybe a well earned rest will lead to discovering new opportunities once the current madness has calmed down.
Thank you again for all your support,
Thomas Carr and the team at 1873